The Inevitability of Reparations; Denied But Not Defeated

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1877
Rev. Curtis O. Robinson, Sr.

God on Wall Street

For those who might be curious about why I’m writing on reparations, be as­sured about one thing; this is not entertainment! I am not a lawyer, however, since I can read and write, I choose to write to inform.

On March 11, 1867, House Speaker Thaddeus Stevens in­troduced HR-29, which said, “Out of the lands thus seized and confiscated, the slaves who have been liberated by the operations of the war and the amendment of the Constitu­tion or otherwise, who resided in said ‘Confederate States’ on the 4th day of March, A.D. 1861 or since, shall have dis­tributed to them as follows namely: to each male person who is the head of a family, 40 acres; to each adult male, whether the head of the family or not, 40 acres; to each widow who is the head of a family, 40 acres; to be held by them in fee simple, but to be inalienable for the next 10 years after they become seized thereof.”

In 2019, 152 years later, Sheila Jackson Lee has reig­nited this discussion.

The Ex-Slave Mutual Re­lief, Bounty and Pension As­sociation was one of many such associations that began to draw attention at the be­ginning of the 20th century. It was an organization of for­mer slaves who made a valid proposition to receive pension checks from the U.S. govern­ment.

The most favorable out­come would be for ex-slaves 70 and older. Then from there, a tiered system was to be put into place that would seek ben­efits from the U.S. government for any labor that was free, and any land that was given.

Certificates were sold to former slaves and their benefi­ciaries as proof that they were seeking some form of repara­tions.

I cannot imagine that anyone who was an ex-slave at this mo­ment in history, would volun­tarily opt-out of this program.

And the longer that America delays this process, the guilt grows daily. Until America faces up to its hand at slavery, white supremacists will never devolve, America’s conscious­ness will continue to have di­minishing effects on its popu­lous, and we will all have to keep telling lies that cover up the other lies.

Those of us who can say something, but refuse to speak out about it, are similarly as conflicted as those whose trick­ery, wrapped in the shape of a cross, refuse to believe that Af­rican Americans are owed any­thing.

I have written enough about this subject now to have a deep­er discussion.

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